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Japan. Libya. The deficit. Did Obama have time to go on ESPN?

After Obama announced his 'bracket' choices on live TV, he drew fire from Republicans for not focusing more on world crises and the deficit. Was his ESPN appearance a bit of March Madness?

President Barack Obama signs the condolence book during his visit to the Japanese Embassy in Washington on Thursday, March 17.

AP

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Obama-bashing is nothing new for Republicans. But this week, the president handed his political opponents an especially juicy target: a live appearance Wednesday on ESPN to announce his “bracket” choices for the NCAA basketball tournament.

It was President Obama’s only public appearance of the day, having canceled an event to receive an award for government transparency. In the evening, Mr. Obama spoke at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser, which was open only to the press pool. On Friday, he leaves for four days in Latin America.

All the while, the nuclear crisis in Japan deepens and the uprising against Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi appears close to defeat while the UN debates what to do. Obama’s plate of domestic issues is just as full, with budget negotiations continuing amid the threat of a government shutdown.

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